Schantz—Peter Mullineaux Schantz, 82, on July 26, 2022, of Alzheimer’s disease, in Atlanta, Ga. Peter was born on October 22, 1939, to David Schantz and Ada Mullineaux Schantz in Camden, N.J. As a child, Peter attended the Lutheran church with his family. He was a gifted athlete, helping his football team achieve an undefeated season during his senior year at Memorial High School in Haddonfield, N.J. Peter was a key member of both the football and wrestling teams at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in Philadelphia, Pa. In 1961, he was awarded the Lewis J. Servais Memorial Trophy as UPenn’s most valuable wrestler, as well as the UPenn Annual Undergraduate Varsity Club Award, given to the outstanding all-around athlete in the senior class.
Peter earned two degrees from UPenn, his bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 1961, and a doctorate in veterinary medicine, graduating summa cum laude in 1965. After his first year of veterinary school, Peter spent a summer working for the California Department of Public Health, where he became interested in a career in public health. He was concerned about poverty and disease that inhibited development in large parts of the world. Convinced that veterinarians could have an impact, he earned a doctorate in veterinary epidemiology and pathology at the University of California, Davis.
Peter was introduced to the Religious Society of Friends by his mentor and close friend, “the father of veterinary epidemiology” Calvin W. Schwabe, who was a member of Haverford (Pa.) Meeting. Peter began attending Atlanta (Ga.) Meeting with Mary Bartlett after their marriage in 1999. His quiet grounded presence enriched the meeting.
Peter devoted his professional life to the control and eradication of animal-to-human (zoonotic) diseases. Peter’s medical research in parasitic zoonoses took him all over the world. He was a National Institutes of Health trainee in the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s School of Medicine. He served as chief of the Laboratory of Parasitology for the Pan American Zoonoses Center/World Health Organization in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 1970 to 1974. He trained postdoctoral fellows throughout Latin America, and was a consultant to public health authorities in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. In 1974, Peter joined the elite Epidemic Intelligence Service as an officer and through the Commissioned Corp of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) worked in the Division of Parasitic Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
In 1980, he was a visiting lecturer in medical parasitology in the Department of Microbiology at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
Peter served the Division of Parasitic Diseases as epidemiologist until his retirement in 2008. Afterward he served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University’s School of Public Health in Atlanta.
Peter was the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards during his career, most notably the USPHS Commissioned Officer of the Year awarded in 1997 for outstanding contributions leading to the advancement of public health and veterinary medicine. He published more than 350 scientific articles and academic book chapters.
Peter was an avid alpine skier, ran the New York City Marathon, earned his black belt in karate, was a pilot, and loved his pets and his garden. He adored his grandchildren.
Peter is survived by his wife, Mary Bartlett; three children, Aimee Marie Schantz, Erica Schantz Wise (Scott), and Brendan Guinan Schantz; two stepchildren, Cody Bartlett Smith (Claire) and Zachary Adams Smith; four grandchildren; a brother, David Schantz; and a sister, Susan Schantz (Donna).